A man who was once believed to be connected to one of Houston’s worst murders in recent memory is still getting death threats. The death threats in question are aimed at himself and his family — even though another suspect has been arrested and charged with this crime, KTRK-TV (Houston) is reporting.
Seven-year-old Jazmine Barnes was shot and killed on Sunday, December 30. The family says they were sitting in their car, minding their own business, when a vehicle pulled up beside them. The passenger of that vehicle opened the door, and fired multiple rounds into the vehicle. Jazmine was struck multiple times and was killed. Other passengers in the victim’s car suffered minor injuries as well.
After interviewing several witnesses, police released a composite sketch of a man thought to be the suspect — a white male, in his 30s or 40s, clean-shaven. The composite sketch was shared all over social media, and soon civil rights activist Shaun King paired up Robert Cantrell’s mugshot with the composite sketch of the suspect in Jazmine’s murder, and shared it to Twitter. Twitter users were quick to accuse Cantrell of the murder.
Even Cantrell’s niece, Hailey Cantrell, says that she started to tear up when she realized that he might have been involved in this crime.
In fact, though he has been imprisoned for a host of crimes in his life, Cantrell is not believed to be a suspect in the murder of Jazmine Barnes.
"I just want everyone to back off. The truth is out," Robert Cantrell's niece said. The family says Shaun King shared Robert's photo during the search for Jazmine Barnes' killer and asked his followers to tell him everything they know about him. https://t.co/A0S2ObDHc9— ABC13 Houston (@abc13houston) January 8, 2019
Further, an arrest has been made in connection with this crime. 20-year-old Eric Black, Jr., who is African American, has been arrested and charged with capital murder in the young lady’s death. Further, a second suspect — Larry Woodruffe, who is also African American — is behind bars on an unrelated drug crime, and charges related to Jazmine’s murder may yet be forthcoming for him.
21-year-old Eric Black Jr. was arrested in Houston overnight in the shooting of 7-year-old Jazmine Barnes, who was in a car with her family last Sunday. Police say a tip led them to Black, who admitted to the crime. pic.twitter.com/RPwLKm3mAl— TODAY (@TODAYshow) January 6, 2019
So how did a clean-shaven white male in his 30s or 40s get confused with a goatee-sporting African American man in his 20s? Police believe that the man in the composite sketch was simply a witness who was, himself, trying to get away. It’s not even clear if that witness was Cantrell.
Nevertheless, Hailey says that her family continues to get death threats — even though their relative has been cleared.
“I hear, ‘Someone is going to rape, torture and murder the women and children in your family.'”
Shaun King, for his part, has since deleted the original tweet in which he connected the composite sketch to Cantrell.
Hailey, meanwhile, just wants everyone to back off.
“The truth is out. It had nothing to do with us, nothing to do with my uncle at all.”